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Heathfield branch developments


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  • 1 month later...
  • RMweb Gold

I've copied these posts form the 'Cornwall Today' thread:

 

 

I do know about the plan to use Class 70s on the Devon timber traffic from now on, though...

 

 

Teingrace has been knocked on the head now as far as the timber is concerned. Its all being loaded from Riverside instead.

I gather part of the reason for the change was the sea wall problem 12 months ago plus Riverside is easier access for the lorries aswel.

 

 

There is still 2 or 3 train loads of timber at Teignbridge, which will be worked away over the coming weeks by Class 70-hauled trains, special dispensation is in the process of being arranged (the relevant engineers having already given their permission last week).

 

After that it will all go from Riverside Yard, the large stacks of timber there next to No.10 Road being evidence of that.

 

The only reason advised to me for moving to Riverside is the ability to run longer trains. Teignbridge is limited to 16 wagons (any more and you have to split the train into three parts), plus you are limited to an absolute maximum of 18 wagons to run round at Newton Abbot station without locking everything up - I know because we did a special trial one cold and damp morning! The problems at Dawlish were not really a key factor in the decision to move. We proved that we could mobilise to Riverside quickly when the chips were down, and perhaps that gave them a taste for what Riverside could offer.

 

 

So it looks like the Heathfield line is destined to return to it's disused status again :( . I have to wonder why the line was originally reopened if Riverside yard has proved to be a better location, it seems that the traffic has outgrown the facility, but it's been an interesting interlude all the same. I can't imagine any other traffic being generated by the line but I'd love to be proved wrong!

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  • RMweb Gold

I have to wonder why the line was originally reopened if Riverside yard has proved to be a better location, it seems that the traffic has outgrown the facility, but it's been an interesting interlude all the same.

Well, it was opened because at the time, it was an ideal spot to stockpile and load timber, and it fitted the bill nicely.

 

As time has passed, it has become clear that the length limitations of the Teignbridge site is restricting the length of the trains that can be operated. You can load a maximum of 8 bogie timber wagons at a time at Teignbridge, and that's with splitting the train due to the level crossing.

 

The space to run round between fixed signals at Newton Abbot is another limitation. You can run 17 wagons round easily enough, and 18 if a careful shunting procedure is followed, but no more.

 

The customer wish to run longer trains than that, in order to safeguard the longer-term viability of the flow, and since the traffic started, an opportunity to do this at Riverside has arisen, which is now being taken.

I can't imagine any other traffic being generated by the line but I'd love to be proved wrong!

Never say 'never', Rich! ;)

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  • 1 month later...

After Beeching's time and probably before, there were occasions when lines were upgraded, new sleepers, ballast, etc, and then closed.  Hopefully history will not repeat itself here.

 

Brian.

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  • RMweb Gold

Why ballast when there's no more traffic?

I don't actually know. There weren't supposed to be any ballast trains there... I will ask some questions.

 

The final timber train is running down to Teignbridge tomorrow afternoon, and departing back for Chirk on Thursday morning, after that there should be no more, all traffic concentrated in Riverside Yard.

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After Beeching's time and probably before, there were occasions when lines were upgraded, new sleepers, ballast, etc, and then closed.  Hopefully history will not repeat itself here.

 

Brian.

The same situation often occurred in other industries; the sudden ministrations of the painters often indicated approaching doom.. 

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Hi all, (very) long time lurker here.

 

Having followed this thread since it's inception its such a shame to learn that this branch is likely to again become mothballed.

 

I remember following the course of the line from Jetty Marsh to Teignbridge siding with school back in 1999 and Ive had a keen interest in it ever since. I really hope this doesnt signal the end of the Heathfield Branch; it seems that it has a lot to offer local people and local businesses but it rarely seems to get considered.

 

Think I might pop down to Teignbridge this evening for one (final?!) look at a train on this line. Thanks everyone for all the info and pictures :) I'm sure there's life still left in the line!

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  • RMweb Gold

The log train is on it's way and is a few mins early passing Dawlish Warren. It will run round at Newton Abbot from 1506 to 1526, run to Heathfield and run round there and return to berth the wagons at Teignbridge. The loco will probably stable in the former 'Platform 9' at Newton Abbot station overnight and run back to collect the train tomorrow morning. The final run round at Newton Abbot with the loaded train is from 0908 to 0928. The train will then call into Riverside Yard to collect some loaded timber wagons from there, and then proceed onwards. Planned departure time from Riverside tomorrow is 1231 hrs.

 

The ballast train in the previous photo ran on 23rd March, and was a routine ballast drop, planned some time before the changes to the timber traffic would have been known about.

 

However, just remember that mothballing doesn't have to be a bad thing. The line was mothballed a few years ago, and then came out of hibernation for the timber traffic.

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There's nothing like the smell of camphor to awaken a dormant branch line.

 

Geoff Endacott

And I thought the bloke sitting opposite me on the train into exeter St.Davids earlier today was sucking on a Fishermans Friend until I looked out of the window into Riverside Yard ! Half a forest being loaded up !!! :)

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  • 5 months later...
  • RMweb Gold

There's a sprinter running down there before that, on Friday 02/10/15. A special charter train operated by FGW GWR on behalf of the Community Rail organisation (who will have had a conference in Torquay the day before). The same charter is going to Okehampton and Plymouth Friary, amongst other places. I believe that a green sprinter has been requested, but I can't confirm this.

 

In fact, there's also a sprinter special from Torquay to Kingswear on Wednesday night next week.

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  • RMweb Gold

There's nothing like the smell of camphor to awaken a dormant branch line.

 

Geoff Endacott

 

Yes. it's a shame Camphor Coaches were phased out.

 

And I thought the bloke sitting opposite me on the train into exeter St.Davids earlier today was sucking on a Fishermans Friend until I looked out of the window into Riverside Yard ! Half a forest being loaded up !!! :)

 

Please can we have a  "fnarr, smirk" button?

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Thanks Captain Kernow. Any idea what time the sprinter will be arriving at Heathfield on Friday 2nd October please? Thanks.

I'll check when I'm back at work.

 

The HST on Sat 10th October will be running there twice during the day, also two trips to Buckfastleigh.

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There's a sprinter running down there before that, on Friday 02/10/15. A special charter train operated by FGW GWR on behalf of the Community Rail organisation (who will have had a conference in Torquay the day before). The same charter is going to Okehampton and Plymouth Friary, amongst other places. I believe that a green sprinter has been requested, but I can't confirm this.

 

In fact, there's also a sprinter special from Torquay to Kingswear on Wednesday night next week.

So why am I living half the world away?

 

Brian.

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